Home > The Soul's Mark: FOUND (The Soul's Mark #1)(6)

The Soul's Mark: FOUND (The Soul's Mark #1)(6)
Author: Ashley Stoyanoff

“And I put your class schedule in the calendar for you,” Luke added. “And programmed all our numbers on speed dial.”

“Mine next,” Angelle said, pushing a wrapped envelope across to Amelia, not giving her a second to check out her new toy. She looked so excited that Amelia thought she was about to jump out of her seat. Amelia opened it to find a single piece of paper that said shopping. She looked up at Angelle, confused. “It’s a shopping spree! We’re spending the day tomorrow shopping and I’m buying you a new wardrobe.”

Luke and Eric groaned in unison. “I tried to stop her,” Luke said with amusement in his voice. “She insisted. I’m really sorry but I just couldn’t get you out of it.”

“Hey,” Angelle said, shooting him a look. “It’s going to be fun.”

“Don’t worry, Millie,” Eric said. “You can use the present from Luke and I to make an escape when you can’t take it anymore.”

“This is just…” Amelia started, tears brimming. It was so hard to believe that this was all happening. They were actually being nice to her. They genuinely seemed to like her. It was wonderful and overwhelming and she just didn’t know what to say. “It’s just so wonderful. Thank you.”

Another loud yawn escaped and Luke gave her his fatherly smile. “You should get some sleep, kiddo.” He rose from the table. “I’ll walk you back to your room.”

“Of course,” Angelle said, standing up as well. “But nice try Luke, we still need to have our little chat. Eric, why don’t you take Millie back?” She came around the table to Amelia and gave her a big hug. “I can’t wait for tomorrow. We’re going to have so much fun.”

Luke followed Angelle’s lead and gave her a brotherly kind of hug. “Sweet dreams, kiddo,” he said and ruffled her hair.

“After you,” Eric said, giving a grand gesture towards the door. Amelia laughed and padded her way out of the room, Eric following behind. At the doorway, she turned back to her new friends. “Goodnight,” she said with a sleepy smile.

“Goodnight,” Angelle and Luke said in unison.

Eric and Amelia walked in silence through the big house towards her room and she started to feel nervous. She was alone with Eric. And he was coming to her room. And he smelled good. So good. She had to stop this. She knew it. He was her roommate and that would be weird. Trying to get her mind off him and onto something, anything else, Amelia broke the silence. “I feel like I missed something back there. What’s with Angelle and Luke? Are they a couple or something?”

Eric chucked. “No, they’re not a couple. He’s with Lola. Angelle doesn’t like us kids hearing the adults fight.”

“Us kids?” Amelia questioned. She was the youngest for sure, but the rest of them looked about the same age. Early twenties.

“So you have a boyfriend back home?” he asked casually, changing the subject, which she barely noticed. The question made her heart flutter.

“Ah, nope,” Amelia answered lamely, not knowing what else to say. She wished she was one of those flirty girls. Angelle would have known what to do. She would have said something cute and funny. Amelia thought of the way she had shut the boys up over dinner. She had them wrapped around her little finger and they probably didn’t even know it.

“I find that hard to believe,” he said, stopping in front of her bedroom door and running his fingers through his hair. “You’re really cute. You probably have guys chasing you like crazy.”

He thinks I’m cute, she thought in wonder. A real boy, a very hot real boy thinks I’m cute. She had spent the last five years focusing all her energy on school and her imaginary boyfriend that the thought of a real boy thinking she was cute thrilled her in a way she didn’t know was possible. She felt… alive. Her whole body was… alive, vibrating, hot.

Amelia smiled at him, in a way she hoped was sweet and coy. “Thanks,” she said, again lamely and she felt the blush creep up her neck.

Eric looked at her for a moment, serious, and then a sexy lopsided grin spread across his face. “Goodnight, Millie,” he said and then he gave her a peck on the cheek and walked away.

Amelia watched him go, stunned. He called me Millie, a nickname, which was good, right? When he was out of sight, she turned back towards her room, rushed in and closed the door, leaning up against it. She rested her hand against her cheek and with a happy sigh, wiggled out of her clothes, dropping them wherever they fell, leaving a trail to her bed. She pulled on a pair of boxer shorts and a t-shirt from the pile Angelle had left and slid under the covers. She hadn’t thought she would be able to sleep with all the excitement. But as soon as her head hit the pillow, she was out.


Mitchell paced his office waiting for word of Amelia’s safe arrival. Could she have missed it? Her bus was due to arrive early in the afternoon, but now the sun was starting to set, bathing Mitchell in a fiery glow as he glanced out the window. Someone should have called by now. He checked his watch again, 7:00. It was still early, maybe they were just having a good time. Yes, that had to be it. But what if something happened to her? The idea squeezed at his heart. He couldn’t lose her. Not again.

“She’s fine,” he told himself, stalking over to his desk. Surely, he would have heard by now if things had gone… wrong. Mitchell sighed. He needed a distraction, anything to keep his mind off her and to stop the relentless tugging around his heart that begged him to close the distance between them.

He folded his long legs under the large oak desk and surveyed the stack of files that awaited his attention. Mitchell opened a folder and tried to focus on the report, but the figures blurred before him in an incomprehensible mess. So much for distractions, he thought, as he rubbed his forehead, before checking his watch for the umpteenth time.

Why haven’t they called yet? Mitchell wondered and the panic came rushing back in, suffocating and thick. He fished his cell phone out of his pocket and called the house again, voicemail. He tried Angelle, no answer. Luke, busy. Eric, voicemail.

Another insistent pull yanked him to his feet. Why is she affecting him so much? After all, he has yet to bite her. The pull shouldn’t be this strong. Mitchell glanced down at the open file on his desk and, in frustration, he tossed it across the room, adding to the mess of papers on the floor.

Something must have happened. That was the only explanation. Of course something happened, you idiot, a voice growled through his mind. You left your human soulmate alone with three vampires.

“What was I thinking?” he breathed and a new set of fears twisted in his gut. How could he have left a bunch of vampires in charge of keeping Amelia safe? He shook his head violently, attempting to shed the thoughts. They wouldn’t cross him. Not unless they had a death wish, but...

Mitchell was just about to call home again when the intercom buzzed, and his assistant’s raspy voice filled the room. “Mr. Lang, Ms. O’Connor is in the meeting room waiting for you.”

Panic washed over him in a flood. Why is Angelle here? The only reason he could think of was that Amelia was... Mitchell ignored the intercom and rushed to the meeting room a few doors down from his office. He threw the door open, “What are you doing here? Is she okay? Please tell me she’s okay.”

“She’s fine,” Angelle said, her big brown eyes were hard as she looked Mitchell over. She was lounging back in a black leather chair, her red patent leather heels resting upon the table.

He let out a pent up breath. “Why didn’t you call then?” he shouted. “Did you forget who you work for?”

Angelle ignored him, collecting her long auburn hair together and tying it into a knot, which just increased his anger. She kept her cold stare locked on him, unblinking. “Are you sure you’re doing the right thing, staying away?”

Mitchell thought about that for a moment while he tried to regain his composure. No, he wasn’t sure. He wasn’t sure about anything when it came to Amelia. He had spent eight hundred odd years searching for her, and each time he was too late. He had seen her buried too many times to count. And ever since the last time, he hadn’t been able to get through to her in the dreams. Yes, the dreams were magical, he couldn’t deny that, but they had physically remained thousands of miles apart from each other for way too long. It was as if she had put up a wall, a barrier of some sort to stop him from finding her again. Now that he had, he didn’t know what to do.

“She’s been through so much, Angelle,” Mitchell finally answered, dropping into a chair. “She needs time to adjust.”

Angelle’s eyes washed red and her fangs popped down. “You’re wrong. She loves you,” she hissed with contempt dripping from her voice. She threw her legs off the table, sitting up straight in her chair.

He was almost tempted to laugh at her. Angelle was always so passionate, and she rarely thought before she lashed out, especially with him. They had been together for so long that at times, she forgot her place. And most of the time he just looked the other way. But something inside him growled at the blatant disrespect she was showing him and his instincts kicked in before he could pull them back. “If you give me that look again, I will take that as a challenge, Angelle. This is my jurisdiction and you’d be wise to remember who you are speaking to before you flash those fangs again.”

What was wrong with him? Why all the anger? He didn’t get it. It was almost as if he was just turned. No control over his emotions and the blinding anger... He knew damn well Angelle wasn’t challenging him. There were only two other known vampires that would even come close to his age and strength and she, by far, wasn’t one of them.

Angelle shot up from her chair and slapped him across the face. His vision hazed over with crimson and his teeth sharpened at the threat. “Dammit, Mitch!” she screamed in his face, and it took everything he had not to rip her head off. It had been a long time since any of them talked back to him like this, and it boiled his blood. “I’ve been with you since I turned. I’m not your enemy. You aren’t thinking clearly. The bond is taking control of you and you’re acting like a jerk.”

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